How to protect industrial design via the Hague system of international registration

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An industrial design can be registered internationally according to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The applicant can submit an application either to the Estonian Patent Office or directly to the International Bureau of the WIPO. It may be either in English, French or Spanish and it can be filed on paper or electronically.

Up to 100 designs within one Locarno class can be filed in one application. The countries or regions where protection is applied for have to be designated in the application, whereas protection can be applied for also in the country of origin, e.g. in Estonia. The International Bureau of the WIPO examines the compliance of the application with the formal requirements, registers the industrial design and publishes it. The offices of the designated countries and/or regions examine whether the design meets the national requirements. If circumstances preventing the legal protection are not found, the design will acquire legal protection equal to the protection provided by the national Office.

Legal protection is valid for 5 years from the filing date of the application. Term of protection can be renewed by five years for as long period of time as it is allowed by the laws of the relevant country or region.

The requirements for filing an international application and the fees for registration have been prescribed in the Common Regulations of the Hague Agreement and in the Administrative Instructions. In order to learn the precise amount that should be paid a fee calculator on the website of WIPO can be used.

Last modified 22.02.2017